John S Grabell was born in Bavaria, Germany, in 1818. In the fall of 1833 he left Germany in company with his parents and arrived in America Christmas week of 1833, spending the holidays of that year in Philadelphia. In January 1834, they left Philadelphia for Ashland County, Ohio, traveling some five or six weeks by team, and located in Vermillion Township. Mr. Grabill was fifteen years old when he arrived in Ashland County, and has resided in Ashland County ever since. His father died in 1845, and his mother at a later date. Mr. Grabill has given his whole time to farming, and by industry, economy and good management occupies a front rank among the best farmers of Ashland County.
On August 21, 1845, he married Miss Nancy Harper, of Vermillion Township. They had one son, Samuel, born August 29, 1846, who was married March 13, 1877, to Miss Anna Ewing, by whom he has two children. Father and son live in the old house happily. In 1877 Mr. Garbill made a southern tour, visiting Atlanta, Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Charleston, and many other cities, returning by the way of Washington City.